What is Vermouth?
Vermouth is a fortified wine, and we fortify our English wines to 16 %ABV to make our English Vermouth.
Vermouth is also an aromatised wine, and names Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium pictured above) amongst its botanical flavourings. Wormwood is a herb known to aid digestion, which is why it has been drunk for centuries as both an apéritif and digestif.
Enjoy it like you would a high quality gin: in a long drink with a good tonic, in a short drink such as a negroni, or chilled and neat.
Vermouth was created centuries ago, in many accounts by Hippocrates who made ‘wormwood wine’ in around 400 bce, to cure a wide variety of ailments due to the complex mix of herbs, roots, bark, flowers and other purportedly medicinal ingredients that it can be infused with.
Vermouth experienced something of a revival in the 19th and 20th century with the creation of some still well-known brands including Dolin, Martini and Noilly Prat. During this time vermouth transitioned from medicinal tonic to become a sophisticated aperitif when drunk neat and the uplifting element to many popular cocktails.
In the present day, with an increase in the popularity of gin and an understanding of its botanical nature, other botanically driven drinks have seen a rise in interest, and amongst them is Vermouth.